Getting it Right: 100KM, Team of 4 and 48 Hours
Posted by Anadi Upadhyaya on March 15, 2013
It’s about an endeavor undertaken by our team of four people to raise funds for charity and to walk 100KM within 48 hours to meet the challenge set by Oxfam Trailwalker. This post highlights our journey, the outcome and re-emphasizes some well-known facts.
We started with goal setting; success was the obvious goal so success criteria were defined at the start in consultation with all stakeholders. Key Success Indicators (KSIs) were to raise funds to qualify for the event (i.e. 50K INR) and to complete 100KM walk within 48 hours with all four members. We did identify stretch goals at the initiation phase itself and those were to raise funds of 150K+ INR for charity and to complete 100KM walk within 40 hours with all four members.
Planning for the event went through a progressive elaboration process. As a team, we had to cross nine check points to register the entry and exit of the full team. Being a team building exercise, it was required that the team of four, walk together, supporting each other, fastest member walking with the slowest member of the team and completing the event as a team. As activities (aka check points) were already identified and sequenced, we had estimated duration for each activity to develop time management schedule in accordance with our team goal.
Communication among team members was planned thoroughly. Similarly, we planned how to communicate with stakeholders (family members, well-wishers, friends who donated for the cause etc) before and during the event. We performed SWOT analysis for the risks and prepared risk response strategy accordingly. We planned and conducted procurement as per the team needs for the event.
Finally on the D-Day, we first timers were at the event venue with almost a month of preparation. We started almost 10 minutes late from the starting point for 100KM walk of energy, determination and courage. We arrived at finish point exactly 39 hours and 38 seconds after the event starting time. It might not be an exceptional achievement from an outsider’s point of view but as our team could achieve predefined KSIs; this endeavor was a success for us.
It was a fun-filled memorable walk where confrontation was used as a technique to overcome difference of opinions and group decision-making was practiced for team decisions.
Four takeaway from this endeavor which are also keys for a successful project management are:
- Success criteria must be defined at the beginning in consultation with all stakeholders.
- Communication breeds success. A well-planned communication strategy is vital for project’s success.
- Change is inevitable. You need to foresee challenges, risks and always need to have a change management plan in place.
- Working together works. Remember the best team doesn’t win as often as the team that gets along best.